From 1866 until the end of the 1950s, almost all of the attending staff at Cook County Hospital—and thus the instructors who prepared physicians for their life’s work—were unpaid volunteers. As was the case at all other large public teaching hospitals, appointment at County was an honor, public recognition of the doctor’s professional reputation. Before all-fulltime salaried positions were introduced in the 1970s and 1980s, the surgery teachers at County were drawn from a “Who’s Who” of Chicago surgeons.
Over time, their students came to recognize how remarkably good these surgical teachers were. This book looks at a unique and unparalleled collection of individuals who together achieved something noteworthy. It is more than a history of a building on Chicago’s west side—it is an inside look at the people who made Cook County Hospital a center of top-flight medical education and world-class care through the years.